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Google agrees to temporarily restore delisted apps


Google announced on Tuesday that it has agreed to temporarily restore applications it removed from the Play Store due to policy compliance issues.

“In the spirit of cooperation, we are temporarily reinstating the apps of the developers with appeals pending in the Supreme Court. Google maintains its right to implement and enforce its business model, as established in various courts. We will invoice our full applicable services fees in the interim and are extending payment timelines for these companies. We look forward to a collaborative effort to find solutions that respect the needs of all parties,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

The move, however, seems to have come after intervention by the Indian government. Last week, IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw strongly criticized the delisting of select Indian apps from the app store. Later, he revealed that he had called Google representatives and app developers to address the issue.

This morning, Vaishnaw stated that the technology giant had agreed to relist the apps.

“Google and start-up company, both have met with us. We have had very constructive discussions and finally, Google has agreed to list all the Apps as on the status which was there on Friday morning (1st March), that status will be restored. Google has been supporting our technology development journey and we believe that in the coming months, both start-up company and Google will come to a long-term resolution,” he told ANI.

The move to delist select applications had drawn backlash from several Indian founders. Shadi.com founder Anupam Mittal said in a tweet, “Via its 30% #Lagaan, Google is attempting to wipe out the millions of developers who made its Play Store a success but it won’t be that easy. We will fight monopolistic designs against our economy, founders & country…”

According to reports, Shaadi.com, ALTBalaji, KukuFM, Matrimony.com, Bharat Matrimony, Quack Quack,  InfoEdge’s Naukri and 99 acres, and TrulyMadly were among the apps booted out by Google.

Before delisting, Google posted a detailed blog explaining its position on action against platforms not adhering to its policies.

Google stated that up to 10 companies have chosen not to comply with Google’s policies and have sought interim protections from the court. These developers adhere to the payment policies of other app stores, Google added. However, the company did not specifically name these 10 companies.

Google, in its blog post, highlighted that allowing this small group of developers to receive differential treatment while the majority of developers comply creates an “uneven playing field across the ecosystem and puts all other apps and games at a competitive disadvantage.”

It also pointed out that the company had granted developers more than three years to prepare for the new regime, including three weeks after the Supreme Court’s order.

The company disclosed that over 200,000 Indian developers using Google Play adhere to its policies. Moreover, less than 60 developers on Google Play are subjected to fees above 15% as per its new tiered pricing programs.

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